PlantingScience – springing into a new term of research in the classroom

ASPB partners with PlantingScience to support authentic plant science research in middle and high school classrooms across the United States and Canada. The spring session kicked off Monday, February 15. Already, almost 120 student teams from 11 schools are online and introducing themselves to their scientist mentors. Many other schools will be coming online soon. … Read more

Winning entries of the December 2015 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

We had many excellent proposals submitted for the third round of the “Teaching Tools in Plant Biology” competition, from which we selected three for further development. We’ve added another opportunity for you to submit your ideas for consideration as a Teaching Tools, deadline October 1, 2016 (see this for more information). Feel free to contact … Read more

Ugrad Contest: Share Your Story on Urban Sustainability

Three grand prize winners will take home $500 and an all expenses paid trip to New York City — the most populated city in the U.S. — to visit the U.N. headquarters in November 2016 and share their story of urban sustainability with world leaders. Sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Planet Forward Storyfest 2016 is looking for stories about … Read more

Marketing Insights to Enhance Public Engagement with Science

Rebecca Davis, CEO of Ovington, is a marketing professional with a particular focus on the area of public engagement with science. Rebecca spoke at the February 3, 2016, session of the Public Engagement with Science at Societies (PES@S) working group. With Rebecca’s marketing overview and then discussion guidance, the working group focused on these guiding … Read more

Ride the SURF: Tips and advice on applying for the ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Insight from a 2015 SURF Fellow The ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is a spectacular opportunity to embark on an independent project over the summer, earn money, present your research, and expand your resume. Applying to nationally competitive fellowships is a daunting task. Only 15 students are awarded the SURF (10 from doctoral granting … Read more

Plant Molecular Genetics video lecture series

Previously we shared a list of videos spanning the plant biology part of an introductory biology course at the University of California at Berkeley. A reader shared a link to another plant biology course taught at Berkeley, the Plant Molecular Genetics (PMB160) course, taught in 2012 by Jenn Fletcher and Bob Fischer.  Here is a … Read more

Behind the scenes with In Defense of Plants author Matt Candeias

While updating the materials for upcoming workshops (Nottingham and Potsdam next month) on careers, communication and writing, I asked Matt Candeias, author of the popular blog In Defense of Plants how he got started and if he has any advice to those considering blogging.  Here are his replies. I started In Defense of Plants as … Read more

Explore the New York Public Libraries Digital Collections

On January 6, 2016, The New York Public Library enhanced access to all public domain items in its Digital Collections so that everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways (read more about the collection and the ways you can use it here). The images are browsable, searchable, and … Read more

Introductory plant biology video lecture series

Have you been looking for high-quality, university-level introductory plant biology videos? There are not many available on topics other than photosynthesis and pollination. The University of California at Berkeley publishes videos from many of its course lectures on YouTube. One course of interest to plant biologists is the Introduction to Biology (Bio 1B) course.  The … Read more

Plant Biology 2016: Abstract deadline 25 January

Attending Plant Biology 2016? The conference starts in six months, but if you want your work to be considered for a minisymposium or lightning talk, you need to submit your abstract now (or by 25 Jan, EST). You can read more about the conference, including major symposia topics and speakers, and the countless networking opportunities … Read more

“Characterization of parasitic plant mutants”, accessible research for undergraduate readers

Learning to read a scientific paper is an important skill for undergraduate students to acquire, but selecting a suitable paper to read with undergraduates can be challenging (see this for example). The chosen research article should be accessible (meaning not too much specialized terminology or methodology), interesting, and meaningful. A new Plant Physiology paper by … Read more

Best of Plants 2015: Outreach and Communication

The Martian I don’t know if the book/film The Martian will have a lasting impact on plant science, but it certainly added some thrills to the plant scientists’ year. The story features a space-stranded botanist (although some argue he should have been described as a horticulturalist) who had to grow plants to feed himself until … Read more

Undergraduate Science Writing Impact: Why & How with Wiki Edu

Early in 2015, ASPB established a partnership with Wiki Edu. This post features some simple, yet critical details for understanding and using Wiki Edu to help your students think and write more effectively about plant science. The insights shared here come from  Barbara Alonso (photo), Lab Manager for the Lemaux Lab at University of California-Berkeley. … Read more

Newest Teaching Tool: Light-Dependent Reactions of Photosynthesis

We’re delighted to announce that the latest Teaching Tool in Plant Biology article “Light-Dependent Reactions of Photosynthesis” is published. This article was written by me (Mary Williams), as well Ru Zhong (Carnegie Institute of Science) and Johnna Roose (Louisiana State University). Ru and Johnna are both educators and researchers who specialize in the study of … Read more

Chestnuts featured in #AdventBotany

Last year, Alastair Culham (@BotanyRNG) and Jonathan Mitchley (@Drmgoewild) from the University of Reading teamed up to create a series of blog posts called Advent Botany (advent is the season leading up to Christmas and is traditionally a period of waiting or counting days).  This year Advent Botany 2015 features guest contributions. Today’s post, written … Read more

Dealing with arsenic – an investigation with undergraduates

Guest post from Sonja Dunbar, PhD student at the University of Cambridge Plants need nutrients and they have a lot of different ways to acquire them from the soil, as the 2nd year undergraduate students I teach at the University of Cambridge recently discovered in lectures. One thing our lecture courses try to emphasise at … Read more

Student Research: Fall 2015 Update

ASPB collaborates with www.PlantingScience.org, a learning community where scientists provide online mentoring to student teams in middle school through undergraduate settings so students can design and think through their own inquiry projects. Scroll to the end of this post for an impressive list of who is doing what. The fall 2015 online meeting space was … Read more

Our STEM Workforce and The Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education Summit

New visions and multi-faceted collaborations to creatively, efficiently, and collaboratively remaster STEM higher education and its K-12 pipeline. The Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education Summit presented by the STEMconnector® Higher Education Council and sponsored by Cengage Learning, myCollegeOptions®, and Monsanto was a dynamic event aimed at advancing a national (US) effort to meet the education … Read more

Plants in the News: Help us identify 2015’s Plant Science Highlights

Normally, our Friday posts highlight plants featured in the news over the past week, but this week we take a short break to make an appeal for your thoughts on the most notable and newsworthy plant-related events, resources, breakthroughs and headline makers of the past year. Here are the stories we featured last year as … Read more

Meet the litter trappers

Plants that do the unexpected or that don’t conform to stereotype command attention and serve as portals to the diversity of the plant kingdom. Litter-trapping plants have an unusual and interesting strategy for obtaining nutrients. Zona and Christenhusz (2015), writing in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, describe plants that have evolved specialized adaptations … Read more